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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

The Good Manners Everyone Should Commit to Memory

In today's world of online bullying, insults hurled via Twitter, and more time spent looking at a phone than the person across the table from us, we can all use a few reminders on what it means to be—well—human. These super simple tweaks to everyday habits may have some people thinking you spent years at finishing school.

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Thank you Writing

Do the basics

Seems simple, but it all too often needs repeating, say “please” and “thank you.” “These very simple phrases go a long way,” says Sharon Schweitzer, a cross-cultural and etiquette expert and founder of Access to Culture. “By asking someone to complete a task with a ‘please,’ will show kindness and sincerity. By simply telling someone ‘thank you,’ will show sincere gratitude,” she explains further. Read on for 50 tips for good manners.

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Woman sitting in an office waiting for an interview with a rude boss while he talks on the phoneantoniodiaz/Shutterstock

Be mindful

No this isn’t a fancy-font Instagram saying, this is real life. Staying engaged with your current situation shows respect. “Whether you are speaking to someone at the front desk, or asking for directions, it is rude to be on a simultaneous phone call, or disengaged in any way to the person you are speaking to,” says David Leo Yarus, an etiquette expert. “Be present, be sincere, and engaging at all times,” he adds. Doing so, and being genuine enhances any relationship big (family, possible love interest) or small (barista, Uber driver), says Yarus. Here are some other tips for practicing mindfulness in your daily life

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Two north African teen friends drinking together coffee outside Kzenon/Shutterstock

Maintain eye contact

“While speaking with someone, it’s important to maintain eye contact,” says Schweitzer.”By doing so, you’re letting them know you’re fully listening,” she explains.

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Men are sitting in front of the table and near window. Young guy is explaining interesting stuff to his friendSG SHOT/Shutterstock


It costs nothing, it’s easy, and it brightens anyone’s day. A smile can show an authenticity and interest in the situation at hand. “Genuine kindness is easy to read and you should always communicate that to people you come across in daily life, says Yarus. Check out these reasons to smile more every day.

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Portrait of a beautiful woman brushing teeth and looking in the mirror in the bathroom.bbernard/Shutterstock

Good grooming

Bed head may be sexy, but it’s not very polite. Brush your hair, teeth, and maintain other basic hygiene practices shows not only respect for yourself, but respect for those around you. This is especially true in work situations, explains Schweitzer. And please don’t do these hygiene moves in public.

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father and daughter in a sunny cityStock-Studio/Shutterstock


“When conversing with others, try to focus more on your listening skills than your speaking skills,” instructs Schweitzer. “Follow the 80:20 rule: aim for 80 percent of the time spent listening and 20 percent talking.” Doing so makes your conversation partner feel valued. Find out the nine things all good listeners do daily.

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Young surprised woman in shirt looking away. covering her mouth. isolated gray backgroundDean Drobot/Shutterstock

Keep it PG, please

Our expert panel agrees: foul language is exactly that. While it may be fun and millennial hip AF to use such quips, it is actually crass and unattractive. Keep the expletives to a minimum when aiming to impress. These are the only four occasions it’s OK to use curse words.

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Portrait of happy teenage friends sitting and chatting in cafePressmaster/Shutterstock

Do you have any Grey Poupon?

“Excuse me” and/or “pardon me” are two phrases you should use on the regular. Both are commonly used to get someone’s attention for a conversation, or simply someone to move aside, say our experts. Along with “please” and “thank you” these two phrases are the easiest ways to show good manners.

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cropped shot of friends clinking glassesLightField Studios/Shutterstock

Don’t overindulge

As we’ve established, good manners include not talking too much. Similarly, overindulging on booze is considered poor form. Fun fact: It is said that “mind your Ps and Qs” originally referred to pints and quarts in relation to alcohol consumption. Keep your tipples, and—by extension, conversation—in check.

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Business man giving a gift with envelope and shaking handsTomas Stehlik/Shutterstock

Bring stuff

Lastly, don’t show up empty-handed. No matter the situation, you should always bring a little something to an event or gathering. “Have you been invited to someone’s birthday you don’t even know that well? Bring a card. It’ll make a big difference, says Yarus. And remember “Always be charming in your approach.” Here are other rules for being a good house guest.